Schools across US find alternatives to suspending students AP: The school districts in New York, Los Angeles and Denver are just some of those that have moved away from discipline policies that relied heavily on suspensions. State governments have also been taking action: This year, Connecticut limited out-of-school suspensions and expulsions for students up through the second grade, Texas decriminalized truancy and Oregon limited when suspensions and expulsions can be applied to students up through the fifth grade.

Why Test Prep May Be Key to Improving School Diversity WNYC: WNYC spent the summer and fall talking with students across the city, many of whom hope to attend a specialized high school. We wanted to know who prepared for the test and how. Now that the high school application season is about halfway through, with the deadline on Dec. 1, we’ve created five short vignettes about the pressure city students face to get into a good school.

For two sharply divided Manhattan schools, an uncertain path to integration ChalkbeatNY: In order to stem overcrowding at 199, where soaring demand created the city’s longest kindergarten waitlist this year, the city education department has proposed new zone lines that would reroute some would-be 199 students to 191, which has many open seats. In that way, a solution to overcrowding could spur integration.

The Evidence That White Children Benefit From Integrated Schools NPR: It’s long been established that poor and minority children do better in integrated classrooms. But there’s more and more to suggest that the benefits spread to all students.

As Charter Schools Become Divisive, Two Parents Give Their Take NPR: The number of charter schools that are suing the Baltimore City Public Schools is increasing and some parents need to make a choice between two big options: district vs. charter.

The surprising power of the ninth grade WBEZ Chicago: Years ago, researchers at the University of Chicago discovered that how students perform during their freshman year is the best predictor of whether they’ll graduate — better than their previous grades or attendance or their family’s income.

A Tiny School District Reaches Far And Wide For New Teachers NPR: Across the country, school districts are struggling to find new teachers. One rural town in Colorado is reaching outside the 50 states.

Are School Dress Codes Sexist? WNYC: Parents in some public school districts in New Jersey are saying the dress codes are sexist: they argue it singles out girls and shames them, saying their bodies are a distraction to the boys.

LAUSD iPad settlement now coming out of Pearson’s pocket KPCC: But on Thursday, the district said it will be Pearson that will pay the settlement. The company will pay $4.2 million directly to LAUSD and reimburse Lenovo for a $2.25 million account credit that Lenovo is providing the school district.

Some Mississippi educators told to stay quiet on school funding battle Hechinger Report: Tucker is among the Mississippi educators, including teachers and superintendents who say they’ve been pressured to keep quiet about Initiative 42, which will be on the ballot on Nov. 2 along with a competing amendment filed by lawmakers who are against 42 and want to keep funding fully in the hands of legislators.

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Alexander Russo is a freelance education writer who has created several long-running blogs such as the national news site This Week In Education, District 299 (about Chicago schools), and LA School Report. He can be reached on Twitter at @alexanderrusso, on Facebook, or directly at